While focusing on the dangers of e-cigarette use and the consumption of cannabis and opium we often overlook the effects of caffeine consumption on children and teenagers.
About 75% of children and teens consume caffeine on a regular basis, and the permissible doses are often around 25 milligrams a day for children between the ages of six and eleven, and 50 milligrams a day for teens.
According to a recent medical study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents, the amount of caffeine found in some common products is as follows:
Soda (12 ounces) is about forty milligrams, coffee (8 ounces) about 100 milligrams, tea (8 ounces) about 48 milligrams, energy drinks (12 ounces) about 150 milligrams.
The actual amount in drinks purchased may be more than that, according to an article by child psychologist David Rite, published in the journal Psychology Today.
The effect of caffeine on the behavior of adolescents and children
As a stimulant, caffeine may increase arousal, alertness, and motor behavior in young adults.
Although some studies revealed some positive aspects in a number of cognitive tests that were conducted for children when taking moderate doses of caffeine, it seems more evident for children who eat small amounts of it in the first place.
But consuming caffeinated beverages is not without some negative aspects, including its effect on the sleep pattern, reducing the feeling of sleepiness and fatigue, which stimulates the body to consume more caffeine during the day to compensate for the few hours of sleep during the night.
And caffeine may have an indirect negative effect, which is that added to drinks that contain a number of sugars may increase the consumption of other sugary foods even if they do not contain caffeine.
Excessive consumption of caffeine at a rate higher than four hundred milligrams a day for adolescents and about a hundred milligrams a day for children increases health risks, such as irregular heartbeat, irritability, high blood pressure, and anxiety, and is a cause of some sudden deaths, although this is the case. Rare.
Some studies have also shown the long-term effect of caffeine consumption on the body, linking increased consumption of this substance to the emergence of behavioral problems in the future, such as anger, aggression, risky sexual behavior, and substance use.
Some studies have demonstrated that energy drinks containing a lot of caffeine are a problem in and of themselves, and it may be teenagers who are already exposed to this type of behavioral problem who may be seeking to consume large amounts of caffeine.
In conclusion, caffeine is generally considered safe when consumed in small or moderate amounts, while consuming large amounts of it can lead to some health and behavior problems in children and adolescents.
It is imperative that parents be more vigilant in monitoring their children’s caffeine consumption, not to mention the time during the day that they consume beverages containing this substance.